If you’re like a lot of homeowners, your gutters aren’t something you often think about. They need routine gutter cleaning, but besides that, their purpose is very simple.
It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you understand how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most houses in Royal Oak. They blend into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … materials that are meant to stand out! Most home exteriors are made of durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of gutters is to provide a path of least resistance for rain to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they’re in good condition, your gutters will lead runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaking water, and the rain gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to repair to be the reason for any major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is easy and safe. If you notice any of the following issues, it’s a good indication that your gutters have some kind of damage.
As soon as you identify a possible gutter problem, you can decide if it’s something you are comfortable repairing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you should trust a gutter service to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water near your home is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the water runoff away from your home the way they are supposed to. Standing water can lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will leave the areas around your house perpetually soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the gutters or on the exterior of your home. Mold and mildew indicate there is excessive moisture around that area – a potential issue with the gutters could be to blame. Remember that mildew and mold are more likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where they’re growing, it might be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight on it. This is a situation where the advice and expertise of a gutter specialist in Royal Oak would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll have to wait until it’s actually raining to find this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that you have gutter damage. It might just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and needs to be cleaned. Either way, you need to have it checked ASAP.
Depending on the design of your home’s basement, the leaking might be caused by any number of things. The pooling problem we discussed before could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls can only keep out so much water. That’s why it is important to keep your gutters in good condition!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters empty directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this flow of water to help it submerge into the ground. However, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool where it shouldn’t. This standing water can destroy plants by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is a lot of moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually see water marks right beneath the gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a usually an indication that water is streaming down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is by far the simplest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they obviously have damage. After a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your home to identify any damage to the roof shingles, exterior, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to any standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a couple of simple ways Renew Gutter Cleaning recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least one time each year. You can extend the amount of time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out regularly. As with anything else, the better you maintain your gutters, the fewer problems you’ll experience with them.
The best time to clean out gutters is during the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. A lot of homeowners clean their gutters on their own, but there are many professional gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to deal with the work or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the problems we mentioned above.
We’d suggest that you do an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to ensure that your gutters are working correctly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing a problem before it becomes too bad can save you a lot of time and money. A small crack, for example, can be sealed, or the section of gutter with the crack can easily be replaced very affordably.
However, if you let the problem go on too long, you might end up making repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.